My 4th visit to Uganda.
It was about 4 pm in the afternoon. Tropical rains in Nakaseki, Uganda were coming down with great gusto. As we drove along I caught a glimpse of something with the peripheral vision of my left eye. I saw something I never saw before. At first I let it go, but then I thought: I might never see something like that again in my entire life!
‘Stop! Turn back!’ I commanded Richard Ssendi who was driving our rented 4X4. The people in the car were astonished. They asked me: ‘What did you see?’
‘I saw Jesus in a window!’
They laughed because no one else saw it.
‘I will show you. Just go back.’
The car slipped and slided in the red mud as we made a U-turn in the narrow dirt road. On the way back Richard kept asking: ‘Is it this house? Is it that one?’ I said he should just keep driving until I tell him to stop. There were not many houses, because it was jungle area. Here and there a hut or a house would crop up beside the road.
Eventually I spotted the blue walled house where I saw the picture. The entire family was standing on the stoep as if they were expecting someone. We asked permission to take a photo.
‘There! ‘ I said, ‘Jesus in the window!’
The people in our vehicle were astonished.
‘How did you see that?’
‘My dad was a hunter and he taught me to train my eye to pick up anything that is different in the bush.’
And there it was: a giant poster of Jesus in the window. I posed next to the window to take a picture of Jesus and me!
The reason why the poster was there is obvious: they have no curtains and the big poster had to be the substitute. It did the job.
It also attracted my attention. When we finished the photo session, I gave the family fifty thousand Uganda Shillings ($100 equals 270 000 Uganda Shillings). The family was so happy some of them danced around on the stoep.
We all have far too many pictures today: the digital world has made it easy to take many pictures and to store them. We hardly look at all the photographs we take. But this one is a special one. It is one in ten thousand. I thought of the verse in the Song of Solomon 5:10 that describes the Lord as ‘the fairest of ten thousand!’
This is the kind of photograph I want to take: the one you will never take again. It was worth turning back for. I felt content. My heart was happy. I had a picture of Jesus and me.
I had to go to the middle of the jungle bush in Uganda to find that picture!
Then the Holy Spirit started ministering to me from the Scriptures within me.
Song of Solomon 2:8-11
Song of Solomon 3:1-4
Song of Solomon 5:2-8
My Beloved was at the window, He put His hand through the lattice, He tried to open the door, but I was heavy with sleep. When I finally got up and opened the door, my beloved was gone…I ran after him, looking for Him in the streets, but the watchmen caught me and beat me…but I was sick with love…I said, if you find my beloved, tell Him I am looking for Him.
How many times do we have those divine moments when the presence of the Lord is so real in our lives? But we are heavy with earthly sleep. We are not awake spiritually to capture those moments. We miss the heartbeat of our Beloved. We send him away because we are too busy with other things.
And when we decide it is time for the Lord, we cannot find Him. He has gone away. And we rush out to seek Him where we will not find Him. We get beaten up by the bullies in the street and yet, we continue seeking after Him.
How many times does the Lord want to speak with us, commune with us, have intimate fellowship with us, but we miss the opportunity? He is at the window and His hand is at the lattice…but we are heavy with sleep.
II Corinthians 4:4 says the god of this world has rocked people to sleep in his lap so that they cannot hear the Gospel and get saved. All the worldliness that we have allowed in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ has put people to sleep. They can no longer recognise the voice of the Beloved, nor can they wake up out of their deep sleep to respond to His promptings.
Men love the systems of the world that give them success, more than the presence of the Lord. They would rather be successful in the world’s eyes than have communion with the Master. The church services have become dry and dead, the people are fast asleep, because they use the multi-level selling pyramidal schemes to build the church. They worship church growth rather than the Living God. They worship their own achievements rather than God.
In other churches they are so man-centred that they even have coffee breaks between the worship session and the sermon. People are more addicted to coffee than to serve the Living God. They entertain in other churches and many churches have become Christian disco’s with strobe lights and the auditorium is dumped in darkness so that the youth can dance to their hearts delight in the church.
Where there are miracle workers, they turn the meeting into a show, with all the glitter and gold, like a Hollywood show. They perform the miracles to the applause of the people.
The simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is lost in all the worldliness in the church. There is hardly any difference between
the church and the world anymore.
Jesus is knocking on the door of the church, if anyone hears His voice, He will come in and sup with him! Evangelists use Revelation 3:20 to win souls and preach it to the unconverted, but it was actually written to the church! It is time we preach that verse to the church as it was written by John the beloved apostle!
Modern Media has brought worldliness into our lives through TV, internet and iPhones. There are so many distractions. We are rocked to sleep by what the world has to offer. There is always a new gadget on the market to divert our attention from the Kingdom within us.
When our Beloved is at the window and His hand reaches out through the lattice to open the door of our hearts, we are heavy with sleep and we do not respond to our Lord.
When we finally shake off our worldly sleep, our Beloved has moved on and we cannot find His presence…His presence should be within us all the time, for the Kingdom is within. He said He would never leave nor forsake us, but we do not regard His promptings and therefore miss divine opportunities of fellowship that would refresh our barren souls. We are kept busy with the cares of this world that choke the Word of God, like the thorns choked the seeds that were sown among thorns. The deceitfulness of riches and the desire for too many other things also choke the Word of God. Our spirits are withering because of our attachment to the world and the things of the world.
We have loved pleasure more than God; we have served Mammon the god of money rather than the living God; men and women are lovers of themselves more than lovers of God. Because of this condition terrible things have come over the world.
I had to go to the jungle to see the picture of Jesus in the window to revive my own spirit again and to stir up a fresh desire to have fellowship with Him, more than being busy doing His work like a slave.
He loves us more than the work that we do for Him. We are more important to Him than the work we are doing for Him. The worker is worth more than the work He produces.
Oh, may the church once again be revived and be drawn into deep fellowship with Christ! May we learn to love God again, so that we can learn to love our neighbour as yourself.
May the Holy Spirit draw us deeper into the heart of God so that we can have communion with Him. May our lives be enriched from this experience of seeing Jesus in the window.
I took a picture of myself with Jesus at the window and I want it to be a permanent reminder of the need for fellowship with the Master.
Jesus is looking at you through the window now: how will you respond to Him? Will you ignore Him and miss this opportunity again? Or will you wake up out of your deep sleep to have communion with the One who laid down His life for you?
Oh, soften our hearts to your presence again, Lord. Let us see you at the windows of our hearts.
I gave that family in the jungle 50 000 Uganda Shillings. They were so happy.
When Jesus is reflected in the windows of our souls, people will be attracted to Him and He will meet all our needs and requirements of living. How will God who gave us His only Son not give us all we need for this life?
May this episode in my missionary endeavours stir up the desire in everyone that read these words or hear this story, to say, ‘My beloved is mine and I am His and His banner over me is love.’
Apostle Andre Pelser